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Suit: Police refuse to register homeless sex offenders

Two homeless sex offenders are suing the City of Chicago for refusing to register them for lack of a permanent address, claiming their non-registration make them subject to arrest.

Michael Beley and Douglas Montgomery claim they have been arrested or face arrest because Chicago Police refuse to register them as sex offenders because they are homeless. The suit, filed Thursday in U.S. District Court, claims state statute allows the city to register them, but police refuse.

The suit claims a sex offender is required to register at police headquarters and provide a current photo, address, list of schools attended, place of employment, phone numbers, e-mail address, IM and chat identities, and any Internet sites maintained.

By law, local law enforcement has the right to waive registration fees and make homeless sex offenders check in weekly, rather than provide an address, the suit said.

Beley was released from prison Nov. 19, 2012, and attempted to register the next day, but Chicago Police refused because he did not have a permanent address, the suit said. He said he tried to register at his son’s address but it is too close to a park, and he was unable to find a homeless shelter that would take a sex offender.

Illinois State Police classified Beley as a non-compliant sex offender on Dec. 3 and he is now subject to arrest, the suit said.

Montgomery was released from prison in January 2011 and hospitalized a short time later following a mild heart attack, the suit said. He attempted to register upon release from the hospital, but was told Chicago Police do not register the homeless and he had three days to find a shelter and pay a $100 fee.

He was unable to do so and was arrested in July 2011, the suit said. He remains in Cook County Jail.

The suit asks a judge to certify the suit as a class action, create procedures to register homeless sex offenders in Chicago, and award monetary damages.

A spokesman for the city Department of Law was not immediately available for comment.

-- Contact: Atty. Patrick Morrissey, (773) 233-7900.

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